Best Walleye Fishing Reels of 2019: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

By Sonnox | Fishing Reel Reviews

best walleye fishing reels
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If you are on the market for the best walleye fishing reels, then look no further. We will review five fantastic ones and provide you with a detailed buyer’s guide along with answers to questions commonly asked about walleye fishing reels. This will help you make a better decision.

Comparison Chart

Daiwa Casting Fishing Reel 

Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel

Okuma C-65 Ceymar Spinning Reel

Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel

Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel

Best Walleye Fishing Reel Reviews

1. Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Walleye Trolling Reel

The Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Walleye Trolling Reel may look like it's a part of some hi-tech machine, but let us assure you that this is a perfect trolling reel fit for any walleye fisher.

Product Highlights

The Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Walleye Trolling Reel is quite versatile. It incorporates cutting-edge features such as an excellent design, which is a single solid-bodied one.

The line measurements on the reel are in feet, which makes for a precise reading and is compatible with several anglers that are American-based. It proves to be very useful for diving planers, flat-line trolling, and even downriggers for some. It comes with a frame that is reasonably sturdy and made from a combination of graphite along with other materials that are light in weight.

What's also surprising is its reasonable price tag. At its price point, the makers also offer a dual-padded handle, making it perfectly specialized for trolling walleye. At the same time, the star drag and its impressive design make finding honey holes almost scientific.

What's to like about the Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Walleye Trolling Reel

Without a doubt, the reel has an excellent design that is quite sturdy, and this is very surprising considering how affordable it is. It comes with machined bronze gear pieces along with Teflon reinforced drag washers.

What's not to like about the Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Walleye Trolling Reel

The handle on the Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Walleye Trolling Reel can be a bit too light for stripers.

PROS

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    Has a smooth operation
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    Offers seamless reeling
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    Has a long life-span

CONS

  • Not a reliable line counter

2. Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel

The Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel is an excellent fishing reel with an 18-pound super drag and magnetic brake system ideal for walleye fishing. Best of all, this fishing reel is exceptionally budget-friendly.

Product Highlights

The Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel weighs 7.6 ounces and has a line capacity of 0.26mm/140m. The best thing about this fishing reel is how lightweight it is.

It is made out of a carbon body, handles, and side plates. All of this together offers extreme weight savings along with corrosion resistance and added rigidity. This makes it ideal for anglers who spend hours on end fishing.

The reel is also quite smooth and powerful. It has an 11+1 shielded corrosion resistant ball bearings along with CNC machined aluminum spool and a high-tensile gear.

Additionally, it comes with a state-of-the-art three-disc carbon-fiber star drag system with 18 pounds drag power handles. If that’s not enough, the reel also comes with a 0-9 magnetic brake.

What's to like about the Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel

The best thing about the Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel is how light it is. It is made using ultra-light components, which is ideal for anglers who fish for long hours.

It also provides them with on-the-fly, tournament-ready adjustments. There is a one-year warranty, as well.

What's not to like about the Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel

Even though the parts are built well, they do tend to rattle, especially if you have caught a larger than average-sized fish.

PROS

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    Offers good controls
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    Easy to handle
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    Ideal for saltwater fishing too

CONS

  • The parts tend to rattle at times

3. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is a lightweight reel meant for freshwater anglers. Its excellent built and spool make this a fantastic choice for walleye or any freshwater species you want to target. It has ample bearings too that offer a smooth performance.

Product Highlights

The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel has a drag system that is strong, smooth, and can hold up even to the big surges or oversized catfish and the violent bass. The drag dial comes with a nice audible click for minute drag adjustments on the fly.

Built-wise, the reel is quite durable as it has a graphite frame and rotor, which are also very light. It rarely shows any sign of wear and tears even after heavy use, except for the paint. It also comes with a comfortable EVA foam crank handle that can withstand even rough use.

Overall, for its low cost, the reel performs as well as an expensive fishing reel. Its sleek and stealthy design will give you the confidence you need to use it on water. We also did a detailed review of this spinning reel for you to know more about it.

What's to like about the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

For anyone who is on a budget, the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is an ideal choice. This is a versatile fishing reel perfect for freshwater anglers. You can also choose between different models that allow for saltwater fishing.

What's not to like about the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

We noticed that when you reel the fish in, it makes a funny sound. While this is not necessarily a big problem, but for a brand-new fishing reel, this can bother some folks.

PROS

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    Comes with a smooth drag system
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    Multiple models to choose from
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    Quite versatile

CONS

  • Tends to make a funny noise when you reel in

4. Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel

If you are looking for a futuristic-looking fishing reel, then the Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel is exactly what you need. It comes in multiple styles, and along with its amazing design, it also comes with some fantastic features.

Product Highlights

The Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel is a strong and lightweight fishing reel built with high-quality graphite. It has a hollowed-out design on the frame, and the rotor enhances its balance and weight, making it look very stylish.

It has a high-speed 6.2:1 gear ratio that gives a better hook set even with larger fish. It also comes with a four-layer waterproof technology.

The fishing reel also has a fully shielded 10+1 stainless steel bearings that provide the reel with incredible smoothness. This reel was built with a reinforced stainless steel main shaft along with zinc allow drive gear paired with triple carbon washers. All of this offers consistent and smooth performance.

What's to like about the Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel

The design is something we can’t take our eyes off, but this fishing reel is quite affordable and comes with a ton of features such as shielded stainless steel bearings, high-speed gear ratio, and high-quality built.

What's not to like about the Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel

There is a possibility that the Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel may not fit on all fishing rods. So, it is ideal that you first check whether or not it fits your fishing rod properly before buying it.

PROS

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    Multiple options to choose from
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    Made using high-quality graphite
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    Ample ball bearings

CONS

  • May not fit every fishing rod

5. Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel

If you are looking for a basic baitcasting reel that also works well for ice fishing, then you can consider trying out the Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel.

Product Highlights

The Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel comes with all the top features of a fishing reel with a surprisingly cheap price tag. The reel possesses a multitude of characteristics.

This is a high-quality fishing reel that comes with two stainless steel bearing design and has a gear ratio of 3.8:1. It has a star drag system along with twin rubber handle knobs and a durable line guide brass frame. The spool is made out of aluminum, and it has a one-way clutch. The reel is silver in color and offers a line capacity of 110 yards of eight-pound line. The reel only weighs around six ounces.

If you are more interested in ice fishing reels, then you will be pleased to know that we have reviewed many ice fishing reels

What's to like about the Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel

For a simple fishing reel, it comes with a decent amount of features. Furthermore, it only weighs six ounces that make it ideal for using for long hours.

 

What's not to like about the Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel

Amongst all the fishing reels we have reviewed, this reel only has an average quality built. We believe that if used regularly, the fishing reel may not last more than a year or two.

PROS

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    Lightweight
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    Ideal for ice fishing
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    Easy to use

CONS

  • Average quality built

BUYER'S GUIDE

While the walleyes are fish not known to put up a fight while reeling, it is still essential to have the best spinning reel for walleyes to catch them successfully at all times. This fish tends to have a very soft bite. It is not very noticeable, and the angler will not even realize that there is a strike.

Having the right kind of walleye fishing reel will allow you to notice the strike easily. There are a couple of things you should be on the lookout for when you are selecting a spinning reel for walleyes. Let us discuss some of these in detail below.

1. Fits Any or Many Fishing Rods

When you are out there trying to fish for a walleye, you must have a spinning reel that has an impeccable fit with any fishing rod. A majority of the fishing rods are made using a ton of material which has a considerable amount of strength and also fantastic flexibility. Generally, a spinning reel to spin while you fish will not work correctly with viz-a-viz poles or even with baitcasting rods.

2. Right Size

Choosing the right size of a spinning reel is also important. Thankfully, this is easy as you can easily determine this by the size of fish you will most typically catch. A ten-pound test line should be the highest diameter and strength used on a spinning reel, but this doesn't apply to heavy trolling or saltwater fishing scenarios.

To give you an example, if you use a primary jig for walleye, an 8-pound test fishing line would most likely be the average line strength. Therefore, opting for medium-sized reels rated six-, eight-, and10-pound lines would be the best choice.

To ensure that the reel you are purchasing is rated for the pound-test line you plan on using, you will need to check the line capacity information. This can be easily found on the spool of your reel. If you are shopping for it online, then take a look at the product chart.

3. Body and Weight

The reel body or housing should be made from aluminum or graphite or a combination of both. The former material tends to be stronger since it exhibits lesser flex. That said, graphite is much lighter.

Deciding between strength and weight entirely depends on what you want. High-end reels will typically have aluminum bodies.

Another factor that you need to look out for is a reel body constructed solidly. There should not be any flimsy or loose parts.

Every single part should be smooth in its performance and also have no back play in any manner. Typically, opt for a reel that has fewer parts as that will reduce the chance of any mechanical breakdown.

Weight is another factor that you need to consider when looking for a reel to prevent fatigue. Having one that is lighter in weight will put a lesser strain on your wrist and your forearms. This is also important if you are spending a lot of time on the water.

4. Spinning Reel Power

When you are fishing for the walleye, you will need to calculate an average walleye’s size. After doing so, you have to estimate the power of the spinning reel, which is necessary for you to retrieve the fish from the water conveniently.

At no point should you be putting a tiny line on the reel when you fish for the walleye. You must also make sure that the location of the fish is well sighted. The line directed towards it should be at the right angle for it to have an effective function of the reel.

5. Drag System

The spinning reel’s drag system is yet another important aspect you should consider. This is responsible for applying pressure on a fish hooked and let out the line during a fight.

Without a high-quality and smooth drag, you risk losing the fish or having broken lines. You must look for a line that is smooth and has a non-constructive drag. The line should be able to pull out without any hesitation and steadily no matter at what tension you set the drag at.

Typically, there are two drags systems on the spinning reel, either on the front or the rear. The placement of this system brings about some differences in the style. The one in the front typically features multiple large drag washers, which will offer increased performance and durability compared to rear-drag models.

6. Capacity

Another thing you need to consider is the capacity of the spinning reel because the walleye is known to be about 20 feet deep in water. This means that there should be enough line available for you to make a substantial catch.

The reel should have more than enough line capacity for it to reach the right target. The more capacity of the line the spinning reel has, the further it will be capable of going.

7. Anti-Reverse Handles

Anti-reverse handles should be a prerequisite when you search for spinning reels. This helps in preventing the handle from spinning backward, making the hook sets accurate and powerful.

F.A.Q.

1. What Makes a Good Spinning Reel?

Whether you are upgrading your spinning reel or buying a new one altogether, there are a couple of factors you must look at that will determine how good the spinning reel is.

  • Instant Anti-Reverse Handles

Look for spinning reels that have no backward motion on the handle. If the handle is capable of moving backward by even a little, it can prevent an accurate and powerful hook set, and this will greatly reduce your fishing success.

You can test this by simply moving the handle forward and gently trying to reverse. If you feel the handle backs up, then it is not the right spinning reel to settle on.

  • Smooth and Easily Adjustable Drag

The drag system will put pressure on the fish and will allow you to give out the line when necessary. Having a smooth and high-quality drag system is important for a good spinning reel.

The system will let out a line seamlessly and smoothly without any pulls or jerks as the line goes. If you feel there are a lot of jerks and stutters, similar to a car with a bad transmission, then lookout for a better spinning reel.  

Experienced anglers will always recommend one with a front-drag system on the spinning lure since this tends to be closer to the spool and easier to access and adjust when you catch a fish.

  • Amount of Ball Bearings

We recommend getting a spinning reel that has the most ball bearings in it that you can afford. That said, a good number for your reference is five since it will offer plenty of smoothness at an affordable price. At this number, you cannot distinguish much between five, eight, and ten ball bearings.

  • Gear Ratio

To select the best gear ratio will entirely depend on the type of fishing you wish to do. The gear ratio is the number of times that the bail will rotate around the spool during a single rotation of the handle. For instance, a 4:1 gear ratio will mean that the bail will go around about four times during a single rotation of the handle.

If you are using lures that will need faster retrieves, a higher number of gear ratios will be necessary. Typically, a 4:1 gear ratio is considered to be slow, while a gear ratio of 6:1 is considered to be fast. A gear ratio of 5:1 tends to have a good all-around reel.

2. Are Baitcasters Better Than Spinning Reels?

It is almost impossible to declare which one between baitcasters and spinning reels can be a winner. Both of them come with their own set of drawbacks and advantages. If you are someone who goes fishing regularly, then you will most likely end up using both of them at some point.

That said, if you are a beginner or someone who is looking to make their fishing trip a more enjoyable experience, then it is ideal to stick to a spinning reel. It is easier to use and less prone to jamming and tangling. The spinning reel is also quite suitable for light lures and lines and for catching fish that isn’t above its average size.

On the other hand, baitcasters are ideal if you have a desire to learn and improve your fishing skills further. These tend to be more accurate and durable, which will give you a significantly better level of control.

However, they will require tougher lures and lines, but that will make them more suitable to catch larger-sized fish. You can learn more about this here.

3. What Is the Best Tackle Setup for Walleye Fishing?

Typically, rigs are considered to be the best when it comes to the walleye when their bite is timid and jigging presentations tend to be too aggressive. The three walleye rigs considered to be quite popular are the Slip Bobber Rig, the Spinner Rig, and the Live Bait Rig. They are methodically used to cover larger expanses of water, but each of the tactics differs.  

4. What Color Jig Is Best for Walleye?

With only a few exceptions, the colors chartreuse and orange had caught the eye of most walleyes. This is quite consistent with the science that this fish is capable of seeing in the red-orange-green portions of the color spectrum. This is while being highly sensitive to orange-red.

We found that that the fish notices the chartreuse better when the lighting conditions are brighter, whereas the fish recognizes the color orange better when the lighting conditions are not as ideal. The role of the color and what the walleyes are capable of seeing is more complex and can be affected by several other factors.

5. Is Walleye Fishing Good After a Storm?

Not really. Walleyes are not known to swim or appear in shallow waters after a storm. Depending on the weather, they tend to stick to certain parts of the water. The storm can completely throw this off, and this forces the walleye to go into hiding.

That said, it is not impossible to fish for walleyes after a storm, but this will take a lot of time and effort and even using the right kinds of baits and lures. Ideally, we would recommend waiting for the storm to clear out completely before fishing for walleyes.

FINAL VERDICT

Regardless of what your style or technique of fishing is, you will need good quality equipment. Remember that if you cut costs and spend less, you will also get less.

If you are someone who goes fishing walleyes almost regularly, you should invest only in the best walleye fishing reels. We are certain that amongst all of the reels we reviewed, at least one of them may have caught your eye.

Amongst all of the fishing reel, we liked the Piscifun Viper II Spinning Reel most. It does have an amazing design, and the makers have given equal importance to its functionality. With this, you are sure to enjoy and catch a good amount of walleyes.

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